260 Days Into my First Indie Game Project

Today, it’s been 260 days since I first started working on Space Gladiators, my first commercial indie game project.

It went from looking like this…

To this:

It’s crazy to look back and see how much progress I made. 

To be honest, I thought the game would be done by now. My initial plan was to finish it in 3 months and move on to a bigger project.

Well, I guess that’s how it always is with making games. I have my ideas about why it happens but it’s a story for another day.

Today, I want to talk briefly about how the game got to this point and what’s in store for the next few months.

The Journey

During the first ~100 days, I was basically by myself.

I worked alone on my game without getting much feedback nor interacting with anyone online. 

I was just trying to learn as much as possible on the art of being a gamedev by watching conferences & videos and by reading articles.

I got the first external feedbacks on my game when I put up a demo on Itch.io 163 days into the project. It contained only a level but I tried to polish it so it could almost be called a finished product (that’s called a vertical slice).

The feedback was good, but I could see by watching early gameplay videos made by YouTubers that the game was way too hard. That’s another issue with working by yourself. You get used to playing it so much that it becomes near impossible to balance it correctly.

After weeks of updates & fixes, hundreds of downloads and a satisfying demo experience, I knew it was time to go on making the rest of the game.

So that’s what I’ve been doing since then.

The Future

Creating tons of content takes so much more time than I expected. Fortunately, I’ve been getting some help from my little brother. 

I’ve been adding new characters, enemies, zones, items and bosses. There’s too much of it for me to show it all off here, so I’ll just put this little worm in underpants that seems to be a fan-favorite.

I also started working with a talented musician to make a proper soundtrack for the game.

There are a lot of things left to be done, but I’m really excited to get closer to launch.

Here’s a brief overview of my plans for the next few weeks:

  • I’ll finish implementing some new systems that I think will improve the game by a lot. For example, I noticed the “Perks” system I used in the demo was unsatisfying. I’m replacing it completely.
  • I’ll then put together a trailer showing off the game and the new content. The old one I used is not really representative of the state of the game anymore – it was just some early demo gameplay footage for the Itch.io page.
  • Once all the formalities are done, I will finally put up a Steam page for the game. I should have done that way sooner but I was waiting to have a proper trailer before doing so.
  • When everything is done, I’ll probably do a quick bêta to make sure the game is not broken and I’ll launch it into early access. I want to get as much player feedback as possible. I really think it makes the game exponentially better.

I’ll continue to share my progress with you along the way, including all the numbers and stuff. 

I think that could be really helpful to you especially if you want to go down the same path.

Anyway, thank you for being part of the journey!

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